The Galesburg School District has unearthed a couple pieces of history, and now the Galesburg Public Library will take possession of them. The District 205 Board has voted to give two old grade books to the library’s archives so they can be better stored. One teacher’s grade book from Silas Willard Elementary School covers the years 1913-20 and has records of when late President Ronald Reagan went to school there in first grade in 1918.
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The other is a grade book covering the old Douglas School from 1879 to 1903, which indicates poet Carl Sandburg was there from 1885-89. "[The Library's] archivist, Patty Mosher, has examined the documents and said ‘We can put these in a controlled environment and can preserve them forever.’ We do not have that capability in the school district. In fact, it scares me just a little bit what might happen to them if we don’t take good care of them,” said District 205 assistant superintendent Joel Estes, who says the grade books indicate that both Reagan and Sandburg were pretty good students. Sandburg spent only a short amount of time in fifth grade before being promoted to sixth grade. The books were recently found in the basement of Silas Willard.